Archive for May 2010

Lawmakers’ insatiable appetite for allowances

May 30, 2010

Casmir Igbokwe

I am upset. And I want you to be angry as well. Our collective anger may not stop what is going on in the National Assembly. But, at least, it may send some danger signals to our so-called representatives there.

Some of these Reps are agitating for an increase in their quarterly allocation. Call it better life for urban legislators if you like. They receive about N1.3m each as monthly salary. They also collect a quarterly allocation of N27.2m each.

According to media reports last Monday, the lawmakers want this quarterly allowance upped to N42m for each of the 360 Reps. The budget of the House cannot accommodate this increase. Hence, the agitating legislators suggested collapsing the N6.2bn capital budget of the House to take care of that.

Some of the lawmakers are said to be threatening to cause confusion if their demand was not met. And since campaigns for the 2011 elections will soon start, they reportedly need the money badly so as to be able to foot their campaign bills.

No doubt, democracy is an expensive project be it in Europe, America, Asia or Africa. However, what governments in some countries do is to find ways of reducing the cost of running this democracy. This is to ensure that the majority of the citizens do not suffer unnecessarily.

Currently, there is economic hardship in different parts of the world. Some countries in Europe and elsewhere are adopting varied forms of austerity measures. In Spain, the government of Prime Minister Jose Zapatero approved a $19bn austerity plan to check public deficit. Essentially, the plan involves a five per cent cut to public sector salaries.

In the United Kingdom, the new government of Prime Minister David Cameron has just outlined measures to cut wasteful spending. The target is £6.2bn. Part of the plan, according to Chancellor George Osborne, is that public servants will no longer be allowed to travel first class. Besides, ministers will not have dedicated cars and drivers, but will rather walk, use public transport or pooled cars. In Wales, the budget will be cut by £162.5m as part of the spending reductions.   

In Nigeria, what have we seen? Profligacy of the highest order. In a bid to emulate the members of the House, some senators, media reports indicated, sent text messages to one another demanding their own increase to nothing less than N100m per senator.

Apparently to woo their staff and clear their heart of any jealousy, the Senate approved a 100 per cent increase in the salaries of the National Assembly staff. The reason for this, we were told, was to attract and retain high calibre of staff  in the National Assembly.

This is happening when our foreign reserves and excess crude account are dwindling. The national minimum wage is still N7, 500. On top of this, the Federal Government has proposed a 100 per cent increase in Value Added Tax and a hike in electricity bills. The poor worker who collects N7, 500 a month will enter the same market with the multi-millionaire legislator who is supposed to be representing his interests.

To many of the legislators, the masses hardly matter. Penultimate week, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, challenged national lawmakers from the state to account for the allocations to their constituencies. He further accused a Rep member in his state of squandering the allocation meant for road construction in his constituency. Although some Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers from the state dismissed Oshiomhole’s statement with a wave of the hand, there is no doubt that our lawmakers need some form of deliverance from their greed.

But do you really blame them? To get to any elective post in Nigeria, you spend a lot of money to sponsor your campaigns. Or you get a godfather who bankrolls the expenses and demands returns on his investment.

 The other day, the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency apprehended one Eme Ayortor at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The man, who swallowed a 2.120kg of cocaine, was on his way out of the country before the bubble burst. According to reports, he went into the drug business to recoup what he spent in his failed bid to win a House of Assembly seat in Edo State.

It is sad that our lawmakers are too sensitive to personal money matters but too lackadaisical when it comes to public service. There is a pending Freedom of Information Bill, which if passed, ensures that each time there is a surreptitious move to siphon public funds, citizens can, as a matter of rights, ask questions and demand immediate answers. A legislature with public interest at heart has no reason delaying the passage of that bill.       

Last Saturday, we marked 11 years of uninterrupted democracy. Within these years, a lot of oil dollars came our way. What have we achieved with this money? Poor infrastructure. Dying industries. Comatose hospitals. Malnourished children who die at the stroke of a cane. Abject poverty. Mass unemployment. Threats to security of lives and property. Dilapidated schools. Inflated contracts.

Pathetic! Last week, the Presidential Committee on the Assessment of Federal Government Projects discovered that the N63.8bn contract for the construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was over 30 per cent higher than the actual rate. The committee has renegotiated the job and saved the nation N13bn. Happily, the Federal Executive Council has approved the constitution of an inter-ministerial committee on high cost of contracts in Nigeria said to be the highest in West Africa.  

Unless we curb the influence of money in our politics; unless we see elective offices as a call to serve rather than to be served, we may never get out of our self-inflicted mess. As the new British Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, put it, “If we don’t bring sense to the public finances, we can’t do any of the good things that we want to do.”

Nigeria must not go

May 23, 2010

Casmir Igbokwe

Obodoekwe is a Nigerian businessman in Kumasi, Ghana. Recently, he sent me a text message part of which reads, “Ghana government through their agency (GIPC) closed all Nigerian shops in all the 10 regions in Ghana. They are demanding about #800, 000 before you can open a shop even if it is a barbing salon or kpof, kpof shop…Now it is Niger must go…”

Recall that in the oil boom era, Ghanaians flooded into Nigeria in search of greener pastures. Nigerians derided them and asked them to go back to their country. Ghana must go! We shouted.

Today, the reverse seems to be the case. It is not only Ghanaians who are asking Nigerians to go. In Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Libya and even Sudan, there is one form of animosity or the other against Nigerians.

Last week, a United Kingdom based Nigerian immigration lawyer reportedly noted that over 20, 000 Nigerians were in prisons in that country. Fola Rahman was quoted to have said that he had been to some homes where you see 26 Nigerians living in a room. Some of these people are stranded because it is either that they don’t have enough money to come back or they don’t have the relevant papers.

In Indonesia, no fewer than 18 Nigerians are awaiting execution. The authorities in that country found them guilty of drug peddling. They had earlier executed two of them, Samuel Okoye and Anthony Nwaolisa, in June 2008. And unless the Nigerian government intervenes, the 18 condemned compatriots may start their journey to the great beyond from June this year. There are many others serving life sentences in places like Egypt.

However, some of our people are making waves in different parts of the world. Last week, there were reports that a United States-based Nigerian, Jelani Aliyu, was among the most outstanding exterior car designers in the world. He was said to have been a lead exterior designer on the GM’s Chevy Volt electric car. He had worked on such GM vehicles as Oldsmobile, Bravada and Opel Astra.

Whether for positive or negative reasons, the fact is that many Nigerians prefer to live abroad to living in their country. Condemned to a life of penury at home, they feel that more opportunities abound in other countries. That is why a Nigerian will not mind languishing in the UK prison or dying as a stowaway in the nose-wheel of a US-bound aircraft.

This happens because he sees little or no equal opportunities for himself in his country. It starts from school. A student from Imo State, for instance, who scores 270 in JAMB exams, may likely be denied admission in a federal university whereas a candidate from Sokoto who scores 150 will gain admission simply because he comes from a state presumed to be educationally disadvantaged.

 Even after graduation, there is no prospect of getting a job anywhere. Banks and oil companies that used to be the dream of many graduates are no more what they used to be. Many bankers I know lost their jobs in the wake of the banking reforms initiated by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi. Out of frustration, some decided to open shops to engage in buying and selling. But sundry government revenue collectors are making life unbearable for them.

The country can tackle the myriads of problems besetting it if only the leaders have the will. For decades, we have been unfortunate to be ruled by those who are controlled by selfish considerations. They struggle to be in power so that they can stockpile enough stolen funds in banks in London, Switzerland and elsewhere for generations yet unborn.

That is why we must commend some positive signals coming from Switzerland. In November last year, a Swiss court convicted one of the sons of former Head of State, Sani Abacha, for plundering state resources. Abba Abacha was asked to repay $350m. Penultimate week, the young man appeared in court to defend his earlier appeal against his conviction. Sani Abacha was believed to have siphoned over $2bn from the national treasury before his death in 1998.   

Last week, the Deputy State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Pierre Helg, said in Abuja that his country was taking measures to ensure that its financial institutions stopped banking stolen public funds from Nigeria.

What are we doing to support this effort of the Swiss? Very little. The Halliburton bribe scandal is going back and forth. Nobody has taken any concrete action against the culprits. Since he came out of office over three years ago, the former governor of Delta State and Ogidigborigbo of Africa, James Ibori, has engaged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in hide-and-seek. Recently, he escaped from security agencies in Nigeria only to be arrested in Dubai a few days ago.

The Siemens €17.5m bribery scam is still an issue in Nigeria many months after a German court convicted some culprits in Munich. In the House of Representatives, an alleged N2.3bn car contract scam against some key members of the House is still a pending issue. All we keep hearing is “we will investigate, we will prosecute, and we will get to the root of the matter.”

We may never get to the root of anything until we reform every sector of our national life. One major step is to have a credible electoral system that will throw up honest people into leadership positions. There is no society that is totally devoid of corruption. The difference between advanced countries and us is that they have a system that rewards honesty and good governance and punishes dishonest and incompetent leadership.

The recent election in the UK is a typical example. Voters who were not happy with the state of the nation voted out the Labour Party in a general election on May 6. The defeat forced former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to resign, paving way for David Cameron of the Conservative Party to take over as the new Prime Minister.

Even while we are fighting over zoning or no zoning here, three Nigerians – Helen Grant, Chuka Umunna and Chinyelu Onwurah – won seats in the British Parliament. I remember that as a postgraduate student in that country, I voted in a council election in 2007.

President Goodluck Jonathan should take the lead by giving us a credible election in 2011. Who knows, if we get it right in 2011, every other thing may fall into place and our brethren in the Diaspora may have cause to sing, “There is no place like home.”

Still on Nigerians who need deliverance

May 16, 2010

Casmir Igbokwe

In Nigeria, the easiest way to incur the wrath of some people is to fish in the waters of religion. Once you criticise a religious figure or institution, no matter how sound your argument may be, reason usually gives way to emotions and sentiments. Sometimes, one negative word on religion could snowball into a major crisis that takes the lives of many innocent souls.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo can bear me witness here. For using a figurative language in his recent view that even Jesus Christ would not be able to conduct undisputed elections in Nigeria, he became a target of caustic comments by some Christians. They said he needed deliverance.

Last Sunday, I borrowed this recommended cure for Obasanjo’s hyperbole. But in administering the medicine to those who played ignoble roles in the demise of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua two weeks ago, I unwittingly stepped on a few toes. Some of my readers said I was biased; that I criticised Muslim clerics who visited Yar’Adua but said nothing about the Christian clergy. Some wondered why I should label Saudi Arabia a secluded society. They concluded that I needed deliverance myself.

It is not in my character to respond to abuses or criticisms against my views. But I am compelled in this case to make some clarifications. First, let me quote the reaction of someone I hold in high esteem, the associate editor of TheNEWS Magazine, Tayo Odunlami.

He wrote, “Casmir, I read your piece in last Sunday’s edition and yes, a lot of people truly need deliverance. But I observed how you skirted round the issue of so-called men of God in dire need of deliverance. By mentioning only Muslim clerics, you were clearly being partisan, due obviously to your religion. You wouldn’t mention this crap about these mercantilist fraudsters parading as Christian men of GOD. I hope you are not already a victim of the criminal brainwashing you spoke about.

“I am a Christian myself but as I always tell people, I am a thinking Christian rather than the mass of mere church-going, tithe-enslaved zombies that especially Pentecostal pastors have successfully created to suit their mad greed for money. Unfortunately, when they play GOD, many believe them. Those who sold the idea of taking certain Christian clerics to Yar’Adua must have convinced the family these characters could actually give him life; and at what cost of our money? These men would collect money from the dead, as they do in the names of gifts, offerings and tithes from roguish and killer political leaders, ritualists, armed robbers, roguish bank chiefs and government officials and all sorts of criminals. They collect money from the poor to establish schools that only children of the rich can attend. No qualms, no conscience. Men of God? Casmir, lets shout it loudly those who truly need deliverance without fear.”

I must say that Tayo and I are on the same page, although we seem to be reading two different paragraphs. My comment on the clerics was strictly based on what they said after their visit to Yar’Adua. It is on record that the Christian leaders didn’t say much except for one of them, Emmanuel Kure, who reportedly said Yar’Adua grunted amen to their prayers.

The Islamic leaders, on the other hand, were quoted to have said that Yar’Adua shook hands with them and sat on a dining chair without any support. The Chief Imam of Abuja, Ustaz Mohammed, said his group was satisfied that Yar’Adua was recovering. “He was in his senses…He had no trouble at all,” he reportedly said.

To Dr. Datti Ahmed, one of the Muslim leaders, “All the stories being written in the media concerning the President are wrong and divisive. If the aim of the sponsors of these write-ups is to remove the President from office, then I think they are making serious miscalculations. Attempting to remove him is a needless diversion and needless waste of time…”

My position is that there is nothing wrong with the visit of the men of God to Yar’Adua. Like doctors, the clerics have the right to visit and attend to the spiritual needs of any individual that invites them. What I found distasteful were certain comments made after the visit and the wrong impressions they created. As for those who questioned why I called Saudi Arabia a secluded society, I can only say no matter how hard a girl tries, she cannot hide a nine-month pregnancy from her mother.

I must emphasise that if there is any group I had attacked on this page more than any other, it is the pastors and some other Christian leaders. I am a Catholic, but I had written against Catholic priests who allowed their libido to overcome their vow of celibacy. I had also criticized some practices I felt were incongruous with the tradition of the church.

No doubt, some self-styled Christian men of God deserve serious deliverance. For instance, a recent story in SUNDAY TRIBUNE had it that a certain pastor of the Christ Rock Apostolic Church at Agbala Imole, Ibadan, raped a 17-year-old girl who came to him for deliverance. Somehow, the matter got to the state Criminal Investigation Department of the Oyo State Police Command. On interrogation, the pastor reportedly claimed that it was the Holy Spirit that removed the girl’s pants while he was praying for her. The interrogators asked the pastor to perform the same magic on a police woman. He failed.

There are many other Nigerians who need deliverance, but space will not allow me to mention all of them. Some readers reminded me that I missed out the name of Nigeria’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Aminchi, in the last piece. I agree with them. The man helped in stoking the fire of uncertainty over Yar’Adua with his half truths and lies. He needs serious deliverance.

I hear the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria have been threatening to go on strike. Who is missing them even now that they are not yet on strike? That company needs serious deliverance.

By the time we are able to identify and shame those who need serious deliverance in this country, we will have gone a long way in sanitizing the polity.

For those who say I also need deliverance, I thank you.

Yar’Adua: Some Nigerians need deliverance

May 9, 2010

Casmir Igbokwe

The counselling and deliverance blues between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some Christian leaders need further exploration here. The aim is not to explore the abracadabra of exorcism by self-proclaimed men of God. The main intention is to use the concept as a peg to examine the intrigues that trailed the demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua last Wednesday. Those caught in the web of the ignominy will be recommended for physical deliverance.

Recall that the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna chapter, had reportedly condemned Obasanjo for his recent comment that even Jesus Christ would not be able to conduct undisputed elections in Nigeria. The CAN leaders and some other Christians saw the statement as blasphemous. They recommended deliverance for the former President. When journalists confronted the Ota farmer last week at the Murtala Muhammed Airport for his reaction to the criticisms, he said it was the Christian leaders and the journalists that needed deliverance.

Truly, Obasanjo needs deliverance especially from the Yar’Adua bondage.  It’s possible that the late President could have still been alive today if he had not been dragged into the presidential race by Obasanjo. After a stressful period as the governor of Katsina State, six months of which he spent in the hospital, Yar’Adua needed to go back to his family and rest.

But Obasanjo had his game plan. The rumour then was that he wanted a third term in office. There was a groundswell of opposition against this move. Even his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, who also had the ambition of becoming the president, opposed the third term bid.

Apparently to get back at Atiku and some other Nigerians who opposed him, Obasanjo pushed Yar’Adua forward. He became his de facto campaign manager. Nigerians rarely saw or heard from their would-be president. In March 2007, Yar’Adua fell ill and was flown to a German hospital. The rumour mill came out with the tale that he had died. That was when Obasanjo had his famous telephone conversation with him, asking him, “Umoru, are you dead?” His singular decision to impose Yar’Adua on Nigerians in spite of his ill-health was what brought us to the mess we found ourselves in the last six months.

Also in need of deliverance are those aides and family members who used Yar’Adua as a pawn in their selfish chessboard. One of them is Yar’Adua’s Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Mohammed Abba-Aji. In the heat of the man’s illness last year, Abba-Aji kept telling us one fairy tale after another. At a point, he told Nigerians point-blank that Yar’Adua would not only return a healthy person, but would also complete his tenure and contest for a second term. His ignoble roles helped in heating up the polity.

What of the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa? Before President Goodluck Jonathan clipped his wings by removing him as the Attorney-General, Aondoakaa was among the so-called Yar’Adua’s kitchen cabinet who tried covertly to frustrate the emergence of Jonathan as the acting President. He once said that the sick President could exercise his powers from any part of the world. For this and some other roles he played during Yar’Adua’s sojourn in Saudi Arabia, he has already received his deliverance.

Turai Yar’Adua is another person that deserves mention here. Apparently to continue to answer Lolo (First Lady), she hid her husband from the public. From President Jonathan to ministers down to governors, nobody could see the late President. Even when she brought the man back to Nigeria, it was done under cover of darkness.

This gave room for more rumours and half truths. Some claimed Yar’Adua could walk, talk, and drink tea. Some said he could exercise. Perhaps, to convince us that all was well with the late president, his family brought four Islamic and four Christian clerics to interact with him. The Muslim leaders emerged triumphantly to announce that the man shook hands with them and sat on a dining chair without any support. These people need deliverance.

One way or the other, the lies and the intrigues helped in fast forwarding the death of Yar’Adua. If Turai, for instance, had not allowed ambition to overwhelm her, the late President, perhaps, could have received further treatment in a better hospital in Europe or the United States. He would not have been quarantined in a secluded society like Saudi Arabia and he would not have been rushed home to die the way he did. If the so-called cabal had not deceived Nigerians into believing that their President was recovering and would soon return home, perhaps, Nigerians would have offered sound suggestions that could have salvaged the situation.

The lesson for us here is to redefine our values as a people. The president or anybody aspiring to that office or other public offices should be ready at all times to disclose the state of their health. Those who thrive on deception and fraud should have no place in our new republic.

People like Senator Sani Yerima who hide under religion to lure young girls to their beds should be sent for deliverance before being readmitted to the new republic. Some of these girls have been so brainwashed that they see marrying old men as a virtue.

 It was amusing, for instance, to read that some girls protested against the Child Rights Act in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State last week. The demonstration was in support of Yerima who allegedly took a 13-year-old Egyptian girl as a wife recently. One of the demonstrators, a13-year-old girl, Maryam Mohammed, was quoted to have said that she was ready to marry since her religion allows marriage from the age of nine. A member of the state House of Assembly, Kabiru Pas, spoke to the demonstrators on behalf of the Speaker. He vowed that the House would never entertain such issues as the child rights bill in its hallowed chambers. See what indoctrination can do to a people!

Jonathan really has a lot of work to do as regards strengthening democracy and rule of law in Nigeria. His priority for now should be to engender electoral and political reforms in the country. 

If from 2011, people are sufficiently aware of their rights in places like Zamfara; if nobody can manipulate the votes of well-informed Nigerians; and if the political system weeds out those who have shady characters from even contesting for any position, then we can say we have arrived.

But if after the reforms and the enlightenment of the citizenry, some people prefer to vote a Yerima or an unhealthy person as president, then so be it.

Reformed Peoples Democratic Fraternity

May 2, 2010

Casmir Igbokwe

First published in SUNDAY PUNCH, May 2, 2010

 THE other day, the former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, was waving a broom all over the place. The broom, as you know, is the symbol of the Action Congress. The main rubbish he wanted to sweep away from our consciousness was the Peoples Democratic Party. A few days ago, Atiku became reformed. He dumped the AC and rejoined the PDP, a party he helped to found.

 He has expressed support for the reform of the largest party in Africa. But he wants due process to be followed. The former presidential candidate of the AC was reportedly scared of a dominant one party because a president from such a party might want to rule for life.

Former Senate Presidents, Ken Nnamani and Adolphus Wabara; former Imo State governor, Achike Udenwa; former Gov. Peter Odili of Rivers State and other bigwigs like Ifeanyi Ararume and Aminu Bello Masari are all reformers now. They want to reform the PDP. They believe that the ruling party harbours a lot of rot. They want to stop the rot. They want to make the party more civil, more responsive and more people friendly. They go by the name, Reform Forum.

The PDP suspended 19 of them. They went to court to stop the National Executive Committee meeting of the party that held last Tuesday. Just in the nick of time, the court overturned its earlier ruling and made way for the meeting to hold. I have a feeling that the reformers will be nursing some ill-feelings now. Should they eventually decide to pull out of the PDP, I suggest they adopt ‘Peoples Reformation Party‘ as their name. There is something cool and refreshing about the word ‘reform‘.

 Remember the Ogboni Fraternity. The name meant certain things to certain people. To most Christians in particular, it conjured some frightening images. Certain powers were ascribed to it. Part of the tale was that if one made the mistake of overtaking a member on the road, one would have one‘s fuel drained and transferred to the Ogboni man‘s car. Conscious of some of these negative perceptions, perhaps, the group decided to reform. Thus, it changed its name to Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.

 Brethren, this is what the PDP reformers say they want to do. But I suspect it‘s all bread and butter reformation. Whether at the national, state or local government level; whether at the elite or masses level, the fight in the PDP, as the acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, has observed, is to get more share of the pie in 2011.

The crises cut across. Last week, a faction of the party in Ondo State called a news conference in Akure and announced the suspension of the state chairman, Tayo Dairo, and members of his executive. The leader of the faction, Teniola Dele, announced himself as the interim chairman. Dele‘s group gave Dairo‘s executive 14 days to vacate the party secretariat or risk having a parallel PDP secretariat in the state.

 Also last week in Plateau State, the police reportedly sealed the office of the state caretaker committee of the party led by Abu King-Shuluwa. They premised their action on a court judgement that reportedly declared the sacking of the executive led by Prof. Dakum Shown by the National Working Committee of the party as illegal.

In 2008, some party supporters at Ikirun in Osun State chopped off the ear of one of them over N10, 000. These thugs disagreed over how to share the money given to them by a chieftain of the party in the state. They used broken bottles, charms, and knives to settle scores.

 The problem with the PDP, in the words of a Reform Forum member and former Health Minister, Prof. ABC Nwosu, is “politics of exclusion and winner takes all.” The leader of the group, Nnamani, asked, “How many of us here now can say we are better off now. Yes, we have been in power for 11 years but are we better off today…?”

True, some members of the party are not better off. The country is not better off. Perhaps, the PDP should change its unofficial slogan from “share the money,” to “reform the sharing formula.” Something like, Pee Dee Peeee! Reform the sharing formula!

But what of the opposition parties? They have formed and reformed many times, all to no avail. Some of them pursue parochial issues and champion largely sectional interests. Be it APGA; be it AC; be it PPA, they are no match for the PDP in terms of size, spread, and resources. Now, some of them have come together under the aegis of Mega Summit Movement. They have reportedly sent their application for registration as a political party to the Independent National Electoral Commission. If registered, the new party‘s name will be Social Democratic Mega Party. Hopefully, people like Prof. Pat Utomi, the interim national chairman, will bring some sanity into this new opposition party. That is if the majority of members will not go after reforming their own sharing formula.

 The next few months will be very interesting for Nigeria. There will be alignments and realignments. Some will claim their people asked them to contest. Some youths may emerge to earnestly ask for Jonathan. There are speculations already that he might decide to run for 2011 polls.

 Interestingly, there is election fever in the United Kingdom as well. This week, May 6, there will be general elections in that country. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the Labour Party, David Cameron of the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats‘ Nick Clegg are slogging it out now. Their campaign trains are moving from one part of Britain to the other, discussing issues and what they intend to do for the people if elected.

 Watch out what will happen when our campaigns start. You will hear things like, “PDP is a stupid party; its umbrella is leaking. AC is not on the ground. Mega Party is a union of frustrated people,” etc.

Now that the INEC chairman, Maurice Iwu, is out of the way, let‘s see how far we can go in conducting free and fair elections in 2011. The reform must go round.